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Twitter further clarifies how it handles abusive behavior

CNET logo CNET 11/14/2017 Terry Collins
Twitter's headquarters, in San Francisco. © Provided by CNET Twitter's headquarters, in San Francisco.

Twitter is providing more clarification for users on how the platform enforces its behavior policies.

On Tuesday, the social network expanded its Help Center with two new pages. They further explained what the company considers when "reviewing reports and determining if an account or Tweet breaks our rules," a Twitter spokesperson said. They also detail what actions the company can take when rules are broken.

Twitter said it will consider a number of factors, including whether:

-- "The behavior is directed at an individual, group, or protected category of people;

-- "The report has been filed by the target of the abuse or a bystander; 

-- "The user has a history of violating our policies;

-- "The content may be a topic of legitimate public interest." (For example, US President Donald Trump's tweets.)

Twitter will also consider the severity of the violation.

The update comes a month after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that the social network would be rolling out changes to how it monitors content to protect its 330 million users from online bullying and harassment. The update also arrives nearly two weeks after the platform announced it was revamping its rules on how it deals with abusive behavior

While harassment on Twitter has been longstanding, it has been under increased scrutiny since the  #WomenBoycottTwitter protest in October which urged people to forgo tweeting for a day to prod Twitter into improving how it screens content.

Twitter's Help Center page has been frequently updated with examples the platform considers to be "graphic violence" or "adult content." 

Another update is scheduled to be implemented on Nov. 22. This includes suspending accounts of organizations that use violence to advance their cause and examples of hateful images that will be prohibited.

iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

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